The 1963 Ferrari Lusso in the Auburn Avenue garage.
(Via Andy Grundy)
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A $1.5 million surprise: Realtors find rare 1963 Ferrari at house off West Cliff Drive

When two real estate agents visited a multimillion-dollar house just off Santa Cruz’s West Cliff Drive being put up for sale by relatives of the deceased owner, they found something in the garage that was almost as valuable as the house itself: a 1963 Ferrari 250GT Lusso. A Carmel-based car broker said that only 350 of these cars were ever made and likely just half of those remain in existence. The cars can sell for upward of $1.5 million.

When Compass real estate agents Dana Bambace and Kimberly Ward checked out the 1,690-square-foot white, wooden house on Auburn Avenue just off of West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, they quickly determined that it was a fixer-upper. In fact, within minutes of stepping foot inside the coastal home, they knew it would require a major remodel.

What wasn’t clear from the outside, though, was that the garage held an object so valuable that it nearly rivaled the price of the house itself: a 1963 Ferrari 250GT Lusso. The vehicle is extremely rare and could sell to collectors for upward of $1.5 million.

The owners of the house had inherited both the house and the car from their late uncle, who died in December 2022. While Bambace knew the car was in the garage, Ward did not.

“There’s a three-bay garage, and at first I just saw a laundry room and some more storage, but then in the next stall was the car, which was my ‘oh my goodness’ moment,” said Ward.

The three heirs to the house and the car had no intention to hold on to the valuable ride. Given that the house was vacant, Bambace and Ward knew they had to keep an eye on it and get it into the right hands.

The house on Auburn Avenue.
(Via Kimberly Ward)

“This whole situation stressed me out — having the responsibility and keys to this house where there’s an amazing car,” said Ward.

Bambace got her clients in touch with Andy Grundy, a classic car broker from Carmel, who immediately took note of its rare status.

“All of us knew we needed to get it taken out of the house ASAP,” said Bambace. “I sent him pictures and he was like, ‘Yeah, that’s a pretty good find!’”

Grundy remembers receiving the photos and one of his first thoughts being, “Is this real?”

“Because there are replica cars of Ferraris or Porsches. Maybe it was missing the engine or something,” he said. “They said it was in Santa Cruz and I told them I’d be there in an hour.”

(Via Andy Grundy)

As a car enthusiast, Grundy was understandably excited. He said that only 350 Ferrari Lussos were ever made, and of those, he thinks that only half are still around. Incredibly, this particular Lusso was in good shape, having received a fresh paint job within the past 15 years and its engine rebuilt in the early 2000s.

Grundy got the car to a shop in Monterey for further inspection of the other components like battery, fluids, brakes, and more. After some tuneups, the car was running and ready to drive. That’s a vital part of the process when preparing to sell a car this coveted.

“Buyers tend to assume the worst unless you can show them the engine runs, the transmission works, and the car moves — and not just slowly,” said Grundy.

So why didn’t the heirs want to hold onto the car? They simply weren’t car people, said Grundy.

“Imagine you inherited a really valuable stamp collection and aren’t interested in stamps. Then it’s a matter of whether you’d want $1.5 million in stamps or $1.5 million cash,” he said. “Which one would you take?”

Now that the car is ready for the road, Grundy said he’s estimating the value of the car to be in the $1.5 to $1.6 million range.

The house it was in, meanwhile, ended up selling for more than the $2.49 million asking price.